Offbeat: Rambo Priest has Communion desecrator pulled over

From DC Examiner’s “Stupid Crimes” column:

God squad

A Catholic priest denied a woman Holy Communion, then had a sheriff’s deputy pull her over.

According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, Jackie Trebesh and her 19-year-old daughter went to take Holy Communion, the priest turned them away and said he would explain his actions after the [Mass] ended.

Trebesh decided not to wait around and had left the church parking lot when a deputy pulled her over.

“He’s not God. He can’t do that to people,” she said.

Apparently he can. The deputy informed Trebesh that the priest had requested the traffic stop, and then the deputy issued trespass warnings. Trebesh later learned she was denied the sacrament because someone had seen the daughter earlier dispose of [a consecrated host] in the parking lot.

I hereby nominate this priest for a Rambo Catholic award.

In all seriousness, I’m sure there’s more to this story. We should pray for the woman and her daughter, who apparently don’t know how to treat the Eucharist with reverence.



  • Concerned Catholic

    As a devoted Catholic, it disturbs me that Brian Burch does not seem to follow the Catholic teaching that we teach by example. He constantly accuses the Administration of this and that and, like the radical right, their actions and words only serve to turn people off from Christianity. The church attendance is down and we can thank people like Burch and his ilk for turning people off.

  • albinus1

    I’m sorry, but I can’t applaud this priest’s actions. While his concern that the Blessed Sacrament be treated with the proper respect is commendable, his pastoral approach is not.

    If he knew the women well enough to identify them at Mass, and to be able to describe their car to the police, then surely he had their *phone number* and could call them to discuss the issue. (After all, this was a daily Mass, where attendance is small and people tend to know one another.) People don’t always have the time to stay after Mass just because the priest wants them to.

    And calling the police and having them cited for trespassing?
    Are they going to have to pay a civil fine?

    I have a serious problem with a religious leader’s using the secular authorities to enforce what is, ultimately, a religious matter. (Let’s face it, if one of the women really did discard the Blessed Sacrament in that matter, from the secular point of view the worst she could be charge with is littering, and possibly public spitting.)

    It seems to me that if religious leaders start using secular authorities to enforce disputes in religious matters, then it is a small step to having secular authorities dictate to religious groups what they may and may not do, to a far greater extent than is now already the case. (Even during Prohibition there was an exception for wine used for Sacramental purposes.)

    If these women really were issued a civil citation for trespassing, I hope they dispute it. (Is it possible to dipute a “warning”?) If the matter goes to court, I hope they have the priest subpoened to come to court to explain why he felt that this was worth taking up the time of the police. If the women have to pay a fine, I hope they deduct the amount of the fine from any financial contribution they make to the parish. And I hope they bring this to the attention of the bishop. That priest has a screw loose.

  • Luis

    I think Shane is correct in saying that what happened between events 3 and 4 are obscure, and could possibly define the charity of event 4. But I think it is safe to assume that the priest made a prudential choice. First off, I doubt the priest’s actions for the denial of communion where based on the hearsay of an anybody. He probably had to trust this member of his congregation (which is already saying alot) in order to make this difficult decision. But, he still gave them the benefit of the doubt, thus he asked them to stay so he could further inquire into the accusation. And if that would of happened (which it didn’t, which adds more important information to this story), I bet he would happily offered them communion after the mass (which takes 5 mins to do). And the woman’s response also reveals her poor understanding of doctrine, further proof of the priest prudential choice. Either way, I think that the important part of this story is the fact that a priest was willing to sacrifice his reputation in order to protect and properly worship Christ sacramented, in a day where obvious individuals, that have openly challenged the teachings of the Church (leading to the death of millions), are desecrating the Eucharist. Let this priest be an example and inspiration for all off us that coward in the big, for he was brave in the little.

  • Krista

    What if the report that the daughter disposed of the Eucharist in that way is not true?

    Your conclusion is drawn from information that has now gone through multiple people. It strikes me as uncharitable to say they need to be prayed for because they don’t know how to treat it off of some obscure news article that doesn’t even give first hand information.

  • Shane

    I really hope that there *is* more to this story. I saw it about a week ago and it really bothered me. I just don’t think that the priest acted appropriately *given what is currently known about the story.* The timeline, so far, is:

    1) Somebody thinks that a woman’s daughter spit out the Eucharist in the parking lot.
    2) The priest denies them Holy Communion as a result, and asks them to stay after Mass, presumably to teach them about their (grave) error.

    So far, so good.

    3) They leave without speaking with the priest – bad on their part
    4) He has them pulled over and bans them from the property? Really? Was this really the next step to take? Was this really the best step to take for the salvation of their souls?

    As I said, I very much hope there is more to the story. Certainly, there could be some other things between events 3 and 4 here which would make the priest’s actions perfectly understandable. As it is, it looks like he skipped a whole heap of steps to properly handle the situation in such a way as to both protect the Eucharist as well as lead to the eternal salvation of these people’s souls.

    Of course it is very important to protect the Eucharist from desecration, and this is going to in some cases require doing things which will upset or offend people. That’s how it goes. At the same time, I think this is a case of someone – again, at least from what’s been reported – being so concerned with it that he went way overboard. I believe that it was Aquinas who offered a prayer something along the lines of, “Lord in my zeal for the love of truth, let me not forget the truth about love.”

  • Jeffrey Pinyan

    There is probably a lot more to this story. DID the daughter actually dispose of the Eucharist in the parking lot, or was it something else?



Receive our updates via email.